90% of our customers have embraced the reality that today is closer to the “new norm” in business than the past. These customers agreed, that perhaps in their life time they will not return to the good old days in their respective businesses.
As a result, most of them have committed to develop a new strategic business plan that takes a realistic view of the current conditions. This has been a sobering experience for some of them who have had to discard “sacred cows” of past practices.
The process of engaging in analysis and evaluation of their current condition has led to some eureka moments on direction, as well as tough decisions on people, processes and technology.
Once they have started the process and begin to decide on the specifics of a plan an unintended consequence surfaces. They come face to face with their existing organizational culture that may not be design to support the new direction outlined in the plan.
Perhaps their people don’t have the skill set to compete and win in today’s market place. Maybe well designed processes have become antiquated. Yesterday’s technology is simply too slow.
The entire organization could be becoming complacent and have lost their competitive edge. This insidious mind set is the result of whatever the prevailing culture is that intentionally or unintentionally reinforces the day to day operation of the business.
The very powerful influence culture can have on a new strategic plan was uniquely described in a recent Harvard Business Journal article that suggested; “culture trumps strategy every time!”
The implication is when an organization embarks on a new strategic plan / direction for the business it must concurrently address what is its culture (environment).
Organizations infrequently consider their culture as a focal point to review and adjust. The highly performing ones maximize their total work environment and ensure it is aligned with the strategic direction and plans.
As our clients are engaged in developing their plans for 2013 we have recommended they spend some time evaluating what their culture is and what modification they might want to make to it to optimize their strategic business plan.
Remember culture trumps strategy every time!
Copyright © 2014 Dave Neal
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